NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Exactly two weeks after police arrested 12 foreign nationals who were allegedly found stripping in a number of local nightclubs Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security, confirmed Tuesday that authorities will begin clamping down on club owners who are found in violation of the perimeters of their business license.
Authorities confirmed that five Jamaican, one Venezuelan, one Trinidadian and five Columbian females were arrested during the joint operation last month, which was dubbed, “Operation Honey Hive.”
The raid hit three-night clubs in New Providence.
Officers raided Xclusive Sporting Lounge on Faith Avenue, New Twilight Restaurant and Sporting Lounge on Robinson Road and Cheetahs Upscale Bikini Sporting Lounge on East Bay Street.
Of the one dozen females arrested, eight were charged and convicted of engaging in gainful occupation.
Two of the women were also charged and convicted with overstaying.
When news broke that the women were nabbed for alleged exotic dancing, there were some who questioned whether or not the club owners would be arrested and charged as well.
Two weeks after the raids took place, none of the club owners have been arrested or charged.
However, the national security minister confirmed that his ministry will be moving forward to ensure that nightclub owners found in violation of their business licenses are penalized.
“No one is above the law and I would expect that police, when they investigate, will look at this holistically,” he said.
“This is a concern for us where persons are being recruited from neighbouring countries to come here and work in these clubs. That’s a form of human trafficking and the penalties are stiff.
“We will be going after persons involved in this very assiduously.”
In the wake of the January 28 raids, rumours spread like wildfire that authorities skipped raiding two well-known alleged strip joints because they were reportedly owned by police officers.
Minister Dames addressed those rumours Tuesday.
“I heard the same thing and I discussed it with the police commissioner and he has assured me that he will be looking into it,” the national security minister said.
“Where it is found out that this is the case and in violation of the law or any force policies or regulations; then I am certain the commissioner will take the appropriate action.”